Did you know, 60% of vets believe that obesity is the biggest health concern for UK pets? Carrying extra weight will impact your cat’s overall wellbeing, so addressing any weight issues and managing their diet is a priority. If your feline friend needs a little assistance in the weight department, these 5 tips are a great place to start.
1. Feed them the right amount
Different brands of cat food can vary in shape, size and density, so pouring it out and judging portion size by eye might result in overfeeding. Using a scale will eliminate any risk of overestimating meal size. If you have multiple cats, microchip feeders might be the easiest solution, preventing your felines from sharing meals or getting greedy. If you’re keeping a close eye on your cat’s consumption but the issue isn’t improving, check that a well-meaning neighbour isn’t giving them extra treats. If this is a concern, you can always add an ID tag to their collar, requesting ‘Please do not feed’.
2. Choose the right food for their lifestyle
Picking the correct food can be overwhelming, but making the right decision can make all the difference, especially when it comes to weight loss. Is your cat older? Do the still need a kitten diet? Are they outside all the time? Full of energy? On the lazy side? Is your cat neutered? Their lifestyle might dictate a specific diet, whether that’s dry, senior, kitten or something else. Remember to discuss options with a vet before changing your cat’s diet, or get in touch with one of our qualified advisors, they can help you pick the best option for your cat.
3. Treat treats differently
Snaccidents aren’t just for humans, and our cats are definitely partial to an overindulgent moment or three – particularly if they’re bored. Cutting back on the cat snacks and treats might be tricky (we love spoiling our pets) but it will help their weight and overall health in the long run. We’re not suggesting a total treat ban – they’re still perfectly acceptable in moderation, but selecting the best quality option and reducing the frequency will help here. Channel this motto: quality over quantity.
4. Keep them moving
Whether you have an outdoor cat that loves a daily wander or a homebody that likes to take the phrase ‘cat nap’ a little too literally, regular exercise is important for our feline friends. A great way to approach this is with toys. A handy tool to encourage your cat to get on their feet and start moving, there are plenty to choose from. We recommend an interactive toy, like a laser pen or a teaser toy, to get your cat on their paws. Not only is it a perfect way to make gentle movement more regular, but it’s a good way to bond and share quality time together.
5. Check in with your vet
Much like any other concern you might have about your cat, speak to your vet. Straightforward questions like ‘how long will it take for them to lose weight?’ will be much more accurately answered by your vet, who will know your cat’s medical history and overall condition. They can rule out any concerns or contributing factors, like arthritis that makes your cat less active or dental issues that are making them fussy with food. It might also be an idea to enquire about weight clinics for an accurate and up-to-date assessment of their body condition. Your cat’s weight should ideally be checked every 6 months as fluctuating weight can be missed at home. It can be tricky for your cat to shift weight if they’ve gained a fair amount over the last 12 months or if they’ve developed a progressive disease that's only noticed several months later.